Most of us think walking our dogs as “getting exercise,” and, for us, that may be true, but for our dogs the experience is much more than a quick sprint around the block. Wherever you go is Disneyworld for your dog – full of bright images, exciting connections with all the creatures, and a chance to make new friends.
While you’re strolling along looking at the scenery, your pet is experiencing the world in ways that you cannot imagine. While you’re looking at the scenery your pet is having a vastly richer experience.
Your dog has super-powers of smell. No newspaper reports as much news as your dog gathers from their sense of smell about 10,000 to 100,000 more sensitive than yours. They have special capacity to smell pheromones which let them read rich detail. They can a complete background check – male or female, type of animal, where they have been, when they were there, what they have touched, if they are ready to mate, and even their mood.
Dogs can smell emotions of both animals and humans, reading them for anxiety, fear, anger and much more. Not only is your pet gathering the news of the neighborhood, he is spreading the news at the same time adding to the communal story with each stop. Dogs are pack animals and their journey into the broader world is important to them. It is a vital part of their physical and emotional wellbeing.
Tips for Walking Your Super Dog
Don’t rush bathroom breaks – They are letting others in the neighborhood know they were there and leaving important information. Their choice of location is rarely random since some spots serve as “community bulletin boards.” They may read the news before leaving their own note, and you should exercise patience for this important activity.
Let your dog explore – Having your dog “heel” denies them the opportunity to explore the rich world of smells that call them. The Disneyworld of your neighborhood calls them to explore and take in the smells.
Take another route – Your pet’s curiosity is boundless and exploring a new route may not look much different to you, but it’s likely to offer an entirely new world to them.
Keep a slack leash – For you it’s just exercise, but the next tree may have a new visitor, or the next bush been marked by a new neighbor. The excitement your dog feels may tug at them and their leash. Physically, they have a reflex to pull against your pulling, so you can wind up in a tug of war. Keep a slack leash and move with them. Keep a few treats in your pocket and use them to distract from time to time to reset their focus.
Keep walking – Experiencing the outside world remains important for your pet throughout their entire life. Your senior dog may not be able to physically travel the same distance. Your disabled pet may not be ambulatory. Their love of experiencing the smells of the world remains an important part of their life. You can maintain the quality of their life with a pet stroller such as the ones available from HPZ Pet Rover. Whether it’s for walk some – ride some, or ride all, taking your dog for sniffs is vital for their emotional well being.